A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She is the author of Gift of the Magpie and Calculated Risk. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. Zoe and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
An Interview with Zoe M. McCarthy
What inspired you to write this story?
Courage. In August of last year, Gift of the Magpie had just released, and I was busy launching that book. Plus, I was wrapping up my contracted nonfiction book Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days. In addition, I had edits coming soon on The Putting Green Whisperer. Among this hubbub, I received an email from award-winning author Mary Manners. She invited me to join her and four other authors in a Valentine’s Day collection. The novella would be due January 1.
Me write a book in four months? Impossible. The fastest I’d written a book was six months, and my norm was at least a year. If I said yes to Mary, I’d agree to brainstorm an idea, write 40,000 words, and hire an editor, all in four months. For my husband it was an easy decision. “Do it.” After praying four days about it I didn’t hear, “Do it” from the Lord, but I received encouragement. I took a deep breath and emailed my consent to Mary. The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress was born.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as you wrote this book?
Using my advice, based on years of research and experience and written into Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, I learned I could write a well-rounded story in three months. This was important, because one of the best marketing strategies is write more books, especially series.
With the writing success of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress behind me, I took another leap in my writing career and formed a series from this book, the Twisty Creek series. I’m writing the second book now.
Tell us about your latest book.
Mary Manners nestled The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress into the Cooking Up Kisses Valentine’s Day collection with novellas by authors Mary Manners, Delia Latham, Robin Bayne, and Dora Hiers. Cooking up Kisses enjoyed an excellent six-month run, receiving an Amazon #1 bestseller award in two categories.
On July 18, Cooking Up Kisses released its novellas back to the authors. Now, The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress is home on my Amazon author page to thrive on its own.
The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress tells the story of a woman who has lived in the shadows all her life. Even her career allows her to spend her days in front of a laptop screen relating to code more than humans. Colleague is a better descriptor for her boyfriend. Now, she’s had enough of her invisible life and determines to face her fears and find her passion.
Can you give us the first page?
PASSION, DON, OR PAPUA NEW Guinea. Once again, Candace mulled the choices.
Don pulled his sedan into the no parking space in front of her apartment building.
Always the same. All-you-can-eat pizza in noisy Luigi’s and talking work with his friends, until they moved on to other subjects and she became invisible. Then ending up here at the apartment’s no parking space.
Every Saturday night.
Richmond offered movies, plays, and a historical canal walk. Even the state motto promised, “Virginia is for lovers.”
Candace released her seatbelt and shifted to face Don. He cocked his ear toward a sports announcer’s rehash of a basketball game on the radio.
“Kiss me, Don.”
He glanced at her and held up a finger. “Just… one… minute.” He leaned closer to the dashboard. Don already knew his team had won, yet not a face muscle twitched. His brown eyes remain focused on the radio knob.
Candace swung her knees away from Don, opened the door, got out, and closed the door.
More about The Invisible Woman in the Red Dress:
Candace Parks lives a passionless life in Richmond, Virginia. The computer programmer returns to the empty family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains solely to evaluate her job, faith, and boyfriend. Her high school crush, star football player and prom king Trigg Alderman, is in Twisty Creek visiting his grandmother, who lives next door to Candace’s family home. He doesn’t recognize her at first and remembers little about her. He’s not alone. Candace’s rekindled attraction to Trigg adds unexpected complications to finding her passions. Sorting her life out? How about nothing of the sort!